Jun 19

The Cheapest Cities for Expats (and the most expensive ones too!)

by in Make Money Anywhere, Travel Tips

Hong Kong Victoria Harbour -- cheapest cities for expats

If you’re mulling over a move abroad, you might want to look into the cheapest cities for expats so you can get a bit more bang for your remote working buck. Thankfully, the folks at Mercer have done most of the legwork already for you. In their recently released new survey the company gives us the lowdown on the cost of living for expats in 207 international cities.

The company’s annual Cost of Living Survey ranks the cost of cities around the world by analyzing the prices of more than 200 goods and services, such as food and entertainment, in each place. Factors such as housing market instability and inflation are also counted into the equation, which probably explains why the most expensive city for expats in the world is the Angolan capital of Luanda for the third year running. According to Mercer, “despite being recognized as a relatively inexpensive city, the cost of imported goods and safe living conditions in this country are available at a steep price.” So let’s just strike Angola off our list now shall we?

Missing from the top 10 most expensive cities for expats list are some of the usual cities that top these sort of charts — Tokyo, for example, came in at number 11, while New York came in at number 16, and London turned out to be the 12th most expensive city for expats.  All of those cities did however make the recent most expensive cities for tourists list. Switzerland placed three cities in the Top 10 list of most expensive cities for expats, while China (China!) placed two cities.

Top 10 most expensive cities for expats

  1. Luanda, Angola
  2. Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  3. Zurich, Switzerland
  4. Singapore, Singapore
  5. Geneva, Switzerland
  6. Shanghai, China
  7. Beijing, China
  8. Seoul, South Korea
  9. Bern, Switzerland
  10. N’Djamena, Chad

If you’re looking to make a home in one of the cheapest cities for expats, you’ll have to venture there’s plenty of varied choice available. Windhoek, the capital of Namibia, one of the most sparsely populated countries in the world. Four of the 10 cheapest cities for expats are in Africa, with beautiful Cape Town notably ranking among the cheapest.

Eastern Europe and Central Asia rank highly as well in the list of cheapest cities for expats.

Top 10 cheapest cities for expats

  1. Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan
  2. Windhoek, Namibia
  3. Karachi, Pakistan
  4. Tunis, Tunisia
  5. Skopje, Macedonia
  6. Banjul, Gambia
  7. Minsk, Belarus
  8. Cape Town, South Africa
  9. Managua, Nicaragua
  10. Tbilisi, Georgia

For full info about the Cost of Living survey click here.

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